Jesus says, ‘Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” Matthew 10:34.
Peace is possible in two ways: The first could be called as the peace of the graveyard – no war, no conflict, no life either. It is not worth anything. Another type of peace is possible – when you are alive and centred in your own being. When self-knowledge has happened and you are enlightened. The flame is lit and you are no longer in darkness.
One of the enlightened souls from India is a man named Vardhaman, He is called – Mahavira – the great conqueror. He never believed in violence, war or fighting. But still he is called Mahavira because he conquered himself. The fight with others ceases for one who has conquered himself/herself. The war is not outside, the war is within. If you have not fought the war within, you will fight it without. A person who is at war within can react in two ways; either he/she can suffer the unease or project it on somebody else. A person who is inwardly tense will find anything as an excuse to fight. When there is an inner conflict in order to pass the uneasiness another is made responsible. Anger violence is thrown at the other in order to get relief. This will be a temporary relief because nothing has changed inside. Within no time anger, hatred gets accumulated inside and again it will have to be projected. Only a person who has conquered himself/herself will remain at peace. Such a person will never fight.
A person who is at war within can never find true peace. To find peace he may approach a Master. A false master is one who consoles without trying to effect a change from within. He is just like a tranquilizer or sleeping pills. He can only console and the result is only loss of time, energy and life. A true master will help you grow. For him consolation is not the goal, growth is. That is what Jesus is saying here, His approach is different. He says through conflict growth is achieved. When He talks about the sword it should not be taken literally, He is speaking in parables. He is not talking about a sword of this world but of a sword that helps you destroy the inner conflict once and for all.
In every person heaven and earth come together. Each individual is a meeting point of the body and the spirit, the earth and the divine. There is a story in the Panchatantra:
It happened that a big forest caught fire. Two men were in the forest, one was blind and the other was lame. The lame couldn’t walk, run but he could see; and the blind one could walk and run, but he could not see. So they made a pact: the blind man took the lame man on his shoulders, and as the blind man could walk and the lame man could see they became one man. The came out of the forest safe.
This is what happens in every individual. The body feels hunger but it cannot know it because it is blind. Consciousness only sees, it is a witness. Both the body and the consciousness have made a pact because without the body consciousness cannot walk, cannot move, cannot do a thing or in other words it cannot function also without the consciousness the body cannot realize what is needed – hunger, thirst etc. There is a co-operation between the body and consciousness which is essential for both to be dynamic and energetic. But a distinction has to be made in order to reach a proper balance. The consciousness should remain as the eyes while the body should follow the path seen through these eyes. Only through a strenuous struggle can this happen. This is achieved through the sword that Jesus is talking about. An inner transformation is needed which is very demanding. Only through the gruelling struggle does growth occur.
The whole quality of water changes when it turns to vapour. When it was water it always flowed downwards. But when it changes to vapour it floats upward never downward. The whole nature changes and this happens through heat. Every transformation occurs through fire, every mutation; every new change is through fire. You are fire: moment to moment, through food, through air, through water – fire is created in you. But this fire has to be raised to a particular degree at which the transformation happens. Energy is always created through friction. Suppose you are used to sleep at ten in the night. What happens if you don’t sleep at ten? For a few moments you will feel very, very, lethargic, sleepier and sleepier. But if you resist and fight a friction is created. One part of you wants to sleep and one part of you doesn’t want to sleep. If you don’t yield then suddenly you find all sleepiness has gone and you have become fresh as in the morning. Through friction energy was created.
It is only through friction that the energy is released for the transformation to happen. A transformation occurs resulting in the body being controlled by the enlightened consciousness in you. A transformation when the lower is transformed to the higher – the devil has become divine. Through this growth alone can you find true peace, true silence.